Favorite films

  • A Scene at the Sea
  • Labyrinth of Dreams
  • Love & Pop
  • Raigyo

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  • Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust

    ★★★★

  • The Fool Killer

    ★★★½

  • Stranger

    ★★★

  • The Card Counter

    ★★★

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  • Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust

    Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust

    ★★★★

    A childhood fave. Seriously, who woulda thought Yoshiaki Kawajiri, the man behind Wicked City and Ninja Scroll, could remit a significant dose of his machismo and sleaze in pursuit of narrative elegance? (Yet he still maintains that oh so glorious sheen of disreputable splendor.) Good friend booksaboutUFOs ain’t wrong when he summarized this as “Ninja Scroll set in the Vampire Hunter D universe”, but the familiar quest structure affords Kawajiri the opportunity to deepen his mythic tract and characters with…

  • The Fool Killer

    The Fool Killer

    ★★★½

    What if Huck Finn, but a post-Night of the Hunter Southern Gothic fairy-tale recounting the circuitous journey undergone by a runaway and, eventually, a wandering Pied Piper figure — both Lost Boys; both fleeing a pain that doggedly follows them — wherein childhood innocence gets chipped away by the hardships and grotesqueries that befall them. A bizarre curio, not necessarily a horror film, but not a film made for kids either, despite the POV. As much a study of the…

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  • Hillbilly Elegy

    Hillbilly Elegy

    Maybe the single worst major American film I’ve seen in years. I mean, I don’t even know what Howard makes of these characters or what it’s all supposed to mean. I’d hoped this would at least illuminate something about the denizens of Ohio and Kentucky (the former is my home state), preferably sidestepping Jerry Springer histrionics and the tired stereotypes mostly perpetuated in more affluent parts of America, but there’s almost no perspective in this decisively apolitical quagmire. Just a…

  • The Shining

    The Shining

    ★★★★★

    A puzzle box for the ages: seemingly deceptively simple on the surface — it is, after all, the story of a man who succumbs to madness, eventually running amok while spending a winter with his family in isolation — but there’s more than one method of opening The Shining's myriad doors.

    What I’ll say is there are few films, horror or otherwise, which effectively portray white male hysteria and the terrifying upshots of such behavior. The movie refuses to explicate…